02/02/09 — Fremont could cut wastewater bills

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Fremont could cut wastewater bills

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on February 2, 2009 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- Reopening an old spray field could drastically reduce the cost of sending untreated wastewater to Goldsboro, Fremont Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie says.

With a few exceptions, reactivating the field could completely eliminate wastewater sent to Goldsboro, McDuffie said.

Spray fields represent older technology for treating wastewater, but spraying wastewater over open fields is still considered a good way to treat the waste. And in Fremont's case, it could help greatly in reducing the cost of having its wastewater treated, as required by law.

The town has fixed many of the holes in its wastewater system and cut the amount of wastewater piped to Goldsboro's treatment plant, but it still pays high bills, town aldermen have said.

McDuffie said that in December the town paid Goldsboro $47,000 for wastewater treatment. That is a far cry from the bills paid before the leaks were fixed, he noted. Before the leaks were fixed, bills ranged as high as $86,000 a month. At the time, as much as half of the water sent to Goldsboro was simply rainwater that seeped into the lines, called infiltration.

Fremont generally doesn't need to treat more than 120,000-130,000 gallons of wastewater a day, McDuffie said. And as the town continues to patch its sewer system, the financial situation should continue to improve, he said.

With the holes filled, the town might be able to rely almost completely on the spray field, which is located off Davis Mill Road northeast of town, he added.

"We'll be able to do about 160,000 gallons a day, is more or less what we'll be able to do," McDuffie said. "If we get a lot of the infiltration taken care of, we shouldn't have more than 120,000 to 130,000 gallons a day."

Two exemptions from that might be the schools and the nearby Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport, which send their wastewater directly to Goldsboro, the town administrator said.

The project will cost about $1 million, but Fremont has obtained grants from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development and The Rural Center.

Gary Hartong, of Green-ville-based The Wooten Company, managed the project to rehabilitate Fre-mont's sewer system.

Wooten Company is also overseeing the plan to re-open the spray field, and Hartong will manage this project as well, town officials said.